tv Way Too Early With Willie Geist MSNBC May 3, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EDT
in newt's moon colony as soon as it is completed. glad you're up and watching with us this morning and listening on xm radio. shoot me an e-mail or tweet me. i don't know what you're doing up at this hour or text the word "awake" at 632639. we'll read the best responses later in this show. a lot to tell you about today on may 3rd, including the famous painting that went for $120 million at auction last night. $120 million. we'll tell you which one that was, plus, lion bait. a toddler poses for a photograph at the zoo and a momma lion sees lunch. thank god for plexiglas. we'll show you how this one ends. later -- my gosh, later in the show. first, let's get to the news live at 5:30 a.m. an intense diplomatic struggle continues this morning between the united states and china.
at the heart of the conflict. guangche guangcheng ch ch chen gaung chen, the chinese activist who sought house arrest, said it was his decision to leave yesterday and now he s says he fears for his life in china and wants to come to the united states. ian helps us sorting through all of this in beijing. >> reporter: in a beijing hospital for treatment and family reunion after a deal between the u.s. and china that now appears to be unraveling. chen guangcheng was brought to the hospital personally by ambassador gary locke and u.s. officials say the left the embassy after six days preferring to stay in china after assurances by the chinese authorities about his safety. >> reporter: from day one, his express desire was to remain in china. he sought to be reunited with his family looking for a better life.
>> reporter: they say he never once asked for asylum. once he knew u.s. officials said chinese authorities assured chen he wouldn't be mistreated and his allegations of abuse would be investigated and he'd get a new home and university job. hours later, with u.s. officials gone, chen apparently had a dramatic change of heart. in an emotional telephone interview with nbc news, he said he'd only left the embassy because of threats to his family. i demand the u.s. government take concrete action to guarantee my safety and human rights and not consider other interests, he said. i want to leave china. any country is fine. hillary clinton earlier said the deal reflected chen's choices and american values. she hoped to prevent the issue from overshadowing high level talks. andrea mitchell explains. >> all this has been a diplomatic nightmare for hillary clinton who went to beijing to press china on iran, syria and
north korea but now faces a chinese government angry about what it calls u.s. interference on a domestic issue and the administration under pressure to hold china to account on human rights. now almost surely responsible for x-men's safety. >> reporter: u.s. officials promised to monitor chen's safety for years if necessary. >> china denies the charges from that dissident saying his family was threatened if he didn't leave the united states embassy. stay tuned to that one. meanwhile we turn to domestic politics despite his lock on the republican nomination, mitt romney is having a hard time winning the support of his rivals. he's getting it but not full throated. the latest came from newt gingrich yesterday suspending his campaign calling it a truly wild ride despite his his promise to rally behind romney,
he sounded less than enthu enthusiastic about it. >> as to the presidency, i'm asked sometimes is mitt romney conservative enough. my answer is simple, compared to barack obama? you knosnoknow this is not a ch between mitt romney and reagan, this is a choice between mitt romney and the most radical leftist president in american history. >> spokesman for gingrich and rick santorum say formal endorsements will likely follow face to face meetings with mitt romney and michele bachmann putting her support behind the nominee and expecting to endorse him during a campaign event in virginia. romney himself looking to turn the conversation back to the economy. for the second time in a week, mr. romney invoked former president jimmy carter in his attacks against president obama. >> what the president has done, and i think unknowingly, never
having spent any time in the private sector himself, is what the president did was one item after another, make it harder and harder for small business to thrive and to grow and to start up. it was the most anti-small business administration i've seen, probably since carter. who would have guessed we'd look back at the carter years as the good old days? >> i remember romney just the other day said even jimmy carter would have pulled the trigger against onlisama bin laden in t room and also mentioned the former democratic president the other day. he said, quote, even jimmy carter would have given that order. that order came from president obama who for the first time is revealing dramatic new details about the night the world's most wanted terrorist was killed. in a special edition of ""rock center"" with brian williams, brian sat down with the president and top members of his national security team, everybody who was in the room from that famous photograph from
the situation room, they talked about that top secret mission. >> did you seek anyone's council? >> i didn't. the reason was because this had to be such a close hold operation. there were only a handful of staff in the white house who knew about this. the majority of my senior staff didn't know about it. my secretary didn't know about it, my personal aide didn't know about it. >> the first lady? >> first lady didn't know about it. >> your husband didn't know. snow no. no. >> mrs. obama didn't know. >> one of chelsea's friends got married, i went to the wedding, i went to the reception. i was at the reception and it was so ironic, all these smart young people who work in all kinds of enterprises, one of them came up and said, do you think we'll ever get bin laden, i said, i don't know, i have no way of knowing. i can tell you this, we'll keep trying. i thought, so i'm leaving now.
>> and simultaneously,s seth myers at the hilton is making a bin laden joke. >> i know it. really, i got home, i couldn't sleep. i couldn't sleep the next night. it was -- i don't have trouble sleeping, those were two tough days. >> how sick did the specter of jimmy carter desert i hang in the air here. >> i thought of it but i will tell you that there are moments in your presidency where you really do put politics aside. certainly, we thought about the fact if there was a failure here, it would have i disastrou consequences for me politically. we knew the examples of the carter presidency and we understood what happened there. but i tell you, the only thing that i was thinking about throughout this entire
enterprise was i really want to get those guys back home safe. >> finally, the seal team landed safely in afghanistan. they sent graphic photos back to confirm the dead man in their possession was bin laden. >> how did that feel to look at that image? >> you no, it -- i think it's wrong to say that i did a hi high-five because you have a picture of a dead body, but understanding the satisfaction for the american people, what it would mean for 9/11 families, what it would mean for the children of folks who died in the twin towers who never got to know their parents, i think there was a deep-seated satisfaction for the country at that moment. >> it wasn't so much a high-five moment as a kind of looking
around and just feeling together as almost one body that, okay, it's over. >> the most important day of your presidency? >> most important single day of my presidency. the most intense concentrated day that i've had as president of the united states. >> just a small portion there of the hour-long program last night. brian's reporting revealed vice president joe biden wanted more proof bin laden was in the compound before the group acted and former defense secretary robert gates favored an air strike over putting those navy seals inside the compound. the president had to override both of them. you can watch more of "rock center" special report inside the situation room. i encourage you to do so at msnbc.com. it took just 12 minutes for someone to spend $119.9 million and take home one of the world's
most recognizable works of art. 1895 pastel, "the scream," you've all seen this one, set a new world record last night at auction in "new york times." in the end, five people were competing with the masterpiece with an anonymous bidder over the phone walking away the winner at the price tag of 11 9 $119.9 million. the sale broke a previous record held by a picasso that went for $16.5 million a couple years ago. still ahead, way too early. a no hitter in the big leagues last night. highlights of a nearly perfect night in sports. just a terrible story from the nfl, as junior seau, one of the best liked hitters in the american league apparently takes his own life.
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coming up on 5:45 in the morning, to look at a live picture of the united states capital in washington, let's get a check of your weather from bill karins, good morning. >> good morning. a couple million people woken up by thunderstorms last night. "new york times" was one of those areas and many places in the midwest, trying to work their way southwards, new york city dry now, should be dry around boston, some sprinkles
south towards providence, the only rain left is heading through dover, baltimore has light rain. thunderstorms are over with. for this region of the country, looks like most of the daylight hours will be dry. we will see thunderstorms once again forming late this afternoon into this evening. if you have evening plans, there is a chance for rain so carry that umbrella to work or school. as far as the worst weather, northern in michigan, we have 2,000 to 6,000 lightning strikes in the last hour. a lot of people here were woken up in the middle of the night early this morning. thunderstorms again in then forecast. like a summer-time feel to it in the midwest. thunderstorms warm. watch out in chicago and st. louis, kansas city, much of the southern half of the country is actually pretty dry. tomorrow, willie, we will have a rare day areas of the mid-atlantic, d.c. and new york have a chance of severe storms tomorrow afternoon. >> 87 today in washington. a little muggy down there. thanks so much.
let's turn to sports and really sad news. football legend junior seau, considered one of the best and relentless players of his generation and all time in the nfl died yesterday, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his southern california home. officers did not find a suicide note at the scene but sjunior seau's ex-wife said he texted her and each of their three children separate messages reading simply, i lover you the day before his death. the retirement of his life after football in 2009 was marked with some difficulty. in october of 2010, he was arrested on a charge of domestic violence. hours later released posting bail, he drove his suv off a cliff. he told authorities in that case he had fallen asleep at the wheel. condolences came from current and former players around the nfl. saints quarterback, drew brees, who played with him in san diego from 2001 to 2005 called him the
greatest teammate a young guy could ask for. in an awful coincidence, seau is the eighth member of the chargers super bowl team to die before his team. he was just 43 years old. in other news overshadowed by seau's passing, roger goodell handed down four suspensions to players for their roles in the new orleans saints bounty scandal coming down hard on jonathan vilma. he got a season long ban without pay while three other players will miss parts of this upcoming season. vilma responded to his punishment in a statement yesterday saying in part, i am shocked and extremely disappointed by the nfl's decision to suspend me for the 2012 season. commissioner roger goodell has refused to share any of the supposed evidence he claims supports this unprecedented punishment. i never set out to intentionally hurt any player and never enticed any teammate to intentionally hurt another player. let's go to happier sports
news in baseball. albert pujols still homerless in the slumping mark with the angels looking for something to get excited about and finally got it last night. jered weaver with an incredible performance against twins. second inning, gets a strikeout. and thomas going down swinging in the third. he had a perfect game going until he gave up a walk in the seventh inning, still a shot at the no hitter. two outs in right. this one -- uh-oh, warning track time. torii hunter gets un dale earnhardt, incorporated it and jered weaver throws the second no hitter of the season, walked only one batter. his parents right there in the stands to witness it. how great is that. took weaver 121 pitches to sit down 27 of the 28 batters he faced. it's the 10th no hitter in angels a history, the 250th by the way in the history of the major league's regular season. nation nationals facing d'backs trying to end their five game slide. in the fourth, brice harper.
no. oh, my gosh. kind of a fakeout job there. there's a home run. standing on second base there. nats trailing in the ninth, down to their final out. harper on second after a double. ian desmond gives them the walk-off victory 5-4. harper had his best in the majors yet, three hits and nats snapped that losing skid. >> i don't want to call h himelerly, 41-year-old jason giambi, gives rockies 8-5 win. the fourth oldest player in the expansion era to have a walk-off home run. 40-year-old chipper jones still getting it done. 11th inning, chipper breaks a 13-13 tie with phillies and braves win 15-13. what a game in atlanta. in case you were wondering, yes, this is the first time in major league history two players 40 or
older have hit walk-off home runs on the same day. got to love chipper jones. to the pucks, caps and rangers, what a game, series was even at 1, probably not counting on playing a 4 1/2 hour marathon. this one started at 7:30 and didn't end until after midnight in the third overtime, yes, third overtime. marion richards feeds it to gaborik and final score, 2-1, new york winning on the road. caps will try to rebound in game four saturday. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," mitt romney yet again takes a shot at jimmy carter while attacking president obama's record on the economy. what's he got out for jimmy carter? we'll kick that around with our "morning joe" crew. when we come back here, we'll huddle around the water cooler to watch another parent achieve youtube fame by putting their toddler in front of a hungry lion. stop doing this. way too early is coming right back.
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his life inside china and now saying he was coerced into leaving the u.s. embassy and requesting asylum in the united states. tell your friends and estimated half a million people in china are currently under punitive detention without being formally charged with or tried for a crime. this is according to amnesty international, says imprisonment of human rights activist on the rise in china. the country remains the leading executioner of citizens in the world. 55 crimes are punishable by death in china. and let's huddle around the water cooler to watch newt gingrich formally drop out of the race. he said he would leave yesterday and did it officially and said he can trace the downfall of his campaign back to that moon colony. >> my wife has pointed out to me approximately 219 times, give or take three, that moon colony was probably not my most clever comment in this campaign. i thought frankly in my role as providing material for saturday
night live it was helpful, but the underlying key point is real. what i called for is beginning to happen. you have noticed in the last week, founders of google are talking about a private sector effort to mine an asteroid. a fundamental question about whether we're still a country that dreams and goes out to pursue great adventure and has then courage to say to young people, yes, you ought to go into math and science because there's a wonderful future doing really important things. i happen to think that's a better future than methamphetamine and cocaine. i am not certain i will get to the moon colony. i am certain maggie and robert will have that opportunity if they want to take it and their generation look back in the olden days when people didn't have holograms at home and opportunity to do so many things manly. >> still talking about that moon colony. . >> remember this video with the lion and sweet little sophia. remember? 3-year-old sophia staring down a
lion. it will happen in a second, i swear! there it is. look at sophia hanging in there and the parent hanging in there with the camera. well, it happened again. this time, at the portland -- at the oregon zoo in paortland. this is a 1-year-old boy sitting there, momma taking a photograph and the lion behind is being awfully hungry. the zookeeper says it was probably the little boy's striped jacket that made the lioness think it was a baby zebra. look at the paw and batting and jaw. the little kid hangs in there. you have to love how the parent continues to film. a lot of trust in that plexiglas. why are you still awake? your texts and e-mails next before "morning joe." [ female announcer ] lactaid milk is easy to digest. it's real milk full of calcium and vitamin d. and tastes simply delicious.